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Stephen Paddock, 64, the gunman who attacked the Route 91 Harvest music festival in a mass shooting in Las Vegas, is seen in an undated social media photo. Photo: Reuters (Reuters)
Stephen Paddock, 64, the gunman who attacked the Route 91 Harvest music festival in a mass shooting in Las Vegas, is seen in an undated social media photo. Photo: Reuters (Reuters)

Las Vegas shooting: What the US media is saying about Stephen Paddock

New details about the man identified as the Las Vegas shooter who killed 58 people, Stephen Paddock, based on US media reports

New Delhi: Las Vegas police identified Stephen Paddock as the gunman who opened fire on a country music festival from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in the city, killing at least 58 people and leaving more than 500 wounded in the deadliest mass shooting in the US history.

The 64-year-old Paddock began shooting from two windows on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino just after 10pm local time on Sunday evening. A police team later found Paddock dead in his hotel room and officials believe he killed himself.

The US media unraveled information on Paddok after the Las Vegas shooting. Here’s what has been discovered so far:

■ The New York Times: “He (Paddock) stockpiled expensive firearms over the course of many months. Investigators have identified 47 firearms belonging to Mr. Paddock, including a dozen in his hotel suite that were enhanced to fire at an accelerated rate, and discovered a system of cameras Mr. Paddock set up to monitor the area around his location.

Paddock struck a jet fuel tank near McCarran International Airport with two rifle rounds, said Chris Jones, an airport spokesman, though a police official expressed doubt that he targeted it intentionally."

■ The Washington Post: “He liked to bet big, wagering tens of thousands of dollars in a sitting. He owned homes in four states but preferred staying in casino hotels, sometimes for weeks at a time, as he worked the gambling machines… In the final years of his life, Stephen Paddock was living out his retirement in quiet obscurity. He liked country music, relatives said, and went to concerts like the Route 91 Harvest festival where he killed so many Sunday night."

■ CNN: “Before checking into the Mandalay Bay days before the massacre, Paddock rented a room at a Las Vegas condo complex that overlooked the Life is Beautiful music festival. In addition, in August, a person named Stephen Paddock reserved a room at Chicago’s Blackstone Hotel during the city’s Lollapalooza music festival, said Wagstaff Worldwide, which represents the hotel. But that person never checked into the hotel, which overlooked the festival, Wagstaff Worldwide spokeswoman Emmy Carragher said."

■ NPR: “The shooter made millions in investments in real estate, according to public records, in California, Nevada, Texas and Florida. And he loved gambling and guns. Paddock had elite status at bigger casinos in Las Vegas, according to industry sources who insisted on anonymity to protect their jobs. Police say he bought dozens of guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition and explosives typically used for target shooting. Three times earlier this year, he drove the 40 miles from Mesquite to St. George, Utah, to Dixie GunWorx, where gun seller Chris Michel found him more engaging than most."

■ CBS News: “Police said Paddock had at least 23 firearms in his hotel suite. He had been staying in the room since Sept. 28. They said another 19 firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition, explosives and electronics were found at his home at a retirement community in Mesquite, Nevada, about 75 miles northeast of Las Vegas."

■ Time: “Authorities trying to piece together the final days before Stephen Paddock unleashed his arsenal of powerful firearms on country music fans on the Las Vegas Strip have at least one potential trove of information: his gambling habits. The massacre has brought new attention to the world of high-limit video poker and casino comps where high-rollers are given all sorts of free items to keep them gambling. The biggest gamblers — often known as whales — can get such perks as chartered planes, butlers and free lodging at a $35,000-a-night villa. Paddock’s brother said he was not at that level, but he gambled enough that he got free rooms, poolside cabanas and high-end sushi meals exceeding $1,000.

... Paddock was given his room on the 32nd floor for free because he was a good customer who wagered tens of thousands of dollars each time he visited."

■ Chicago Tribune: “Stephen Paddock was known to sit for hours playing slot machines and video poker, gambling with tens of thousands of dollars and earning VIP status and the lavish “comps" that casinos shower on their regular high-rollers to keep them playing. Paddock used the perks liberally, indulging in limousine rides, spending complimentary cash on Swarovski crystal jewelry in casino gift shops, and staying in free hotel rooms and suites. His family members have said he considered casinos as a second home and gambling a retirement profession. Much is still unclear about Paddock’s gambling history, but it is clear that casinos in various cities were a big part of his life."

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